Integrating travel planning with event planning

Designing web components to integrate purchasing flights from my favorite airline with my social calendar i.e. buying flights to visit Grandma for her birthday.

Setting: Final Project for Masters in HCI & Design Class

Individual personal project for graduate-level technology innovations class.  I was tasked to integrate machine learning with my favorite digital product by outlining the data model and designing the user experience.

The Challenge

Integrate machine learning with your favorite digital product.  I chose Southwest.com website as someone who enjoys travel and proudly flies Southwest for its convenient policies and travel rewards.

The Outcome

Created web components integrating flight purchase with my social calendar i.e. links from Google Calendar and My Destinations section on Southwest.com.


Empathize with user

Several friends around me planned their fall travels to visit family, vacation with family, or explore new places.  Southwest carries pretty great deals for flights and is a popular choice for the weekend getaway traveler.  Through observations, I created personas to represent different types of travelers.

  Affinity Map  - At one Sunday afternoon gathering of friends, different people shared their travel destinations whether visiting family, planning vacations, or hosting family members who are visiting.

Affinity Map - At one Sunday afternoon gathering of friends, different people shared their travel destinations whether visiting family, planning vacations, or hosting family members who are visiting.

  Personas  - I create personas to represent different types of travelers:  1) Ellen - the last minute traveler who enjoys going to Las Vegas and fun excursions.  2) Sasha  - the college student who likes to visit home every month.  3) Fred & Sophia  - the cool, married couple who goes on weekend getaways every anniversary.  Great food and photos always!

Personas - I create personas to represent different types of travelers: 1) Ellen- the last minute traveler who enjoys going to Las Vegas and fun excursions. 2) Sasha - the college student who likes to visit home every month. 3) Fred & Sophia - the cool, married couple who goes on weekend getaways every anniversary.  Great food and photos always!


Define Solution

Sketches, flows, sketches.  Drawings and doodles representing the different screens needed and the components to each user flow.  If integrating with my social calendar i.e. Google Calendar, what about adding a link to purchase right there?  If recalling people and destinations, especially if I’m the last minute traveler looking for someone to couch surf with, what about building a component of it on my dashboard?

  User Flow  - This sketch shows the user flow and the screen needed for someone to go through the process of booking a flight from their calendar.

User Flow - This sketch shows the user flow and the screen needed for someone to go through the process of booking a flight from their calendar.

  Purpose of trip  - This sketch accounts for building contingencies when the data model doesn’t pull the right location.  Currently the data model adopts the location from the area code, but if someone keeps their area code from a different area, here’s the ability to remember people’s location for ease.

Purpose of trip - This sketch accounts for building contingencies when the data model doesn’t pull the right location.  Currently the data model adopts the location from the area code, but if someone keeps their area code from a different area, here’s the ability to remember people’s location for ease.

   Data Needed   - No new information needed as long as the user already uses this database.  Google provides ability to store phone contacts.  If the user also utilizes their social calendar platform, then through name matching and area codes, the airline can determine the intended destinations.  Occasionally, the area code does not match the destination i.e. college student keeping childhood phone number at her new location.  In this case, the purpose of trip provides ability to save the correct location for the contact.  

Data Needed - No new information needed as long as the user already uses this database.  Google provides ability to store phone contacts.  If the user also utilizes their social calendar platform, then through name matching and area codes, the airline can determine the intended destinations.  Occasionally, the area code does not match the destination i.e. college student keeping childhood phone number at her new location.  In this case, the purpose of trip provides ability to save the correct location for the contact.  


Build, Test & Iterate

I created hi-fi mockups.

   Linked   - Showing the integration into the social calendar for travel planning.  Once I create an event, the option to book a flight when the contact's area code is different from my current one appears.

Linked - Showing the integration into the social calendar for travel planning.  Once I create an event, the option to book a flight when the contact's area code is different from my current one appears.

  People  - Sometimes I have some extra travel points and like to use them quickly, but don't want to worry about hotel reservations or pay extra money on rooms.  Searching by people, lets me pick who to stay with on my Southwest.com dashboard.

People - Sometimes I have some extra travel points and like to use them quickly, but don't want to worry about hotel reservations or pay extra money on rooms.  Searching by people, lets me pick who to stay with on my Southwest.com dashboard.